We are all used to seeing huge trucks and vans on the highways. 18-wheelers and panel trucks are a common sight on the interstates, and even on secondary roads. Most people do not think about the dangers these vehicles pose to passenger cars and to each other until a terrible accident happens. However, with the size and weight of these types of trucks, few accidents involving them are "minor."
Many truck accidents occur because of poor driving on the part of a passenger vehicle. Maneuvering a small car is very different from handling a semi truck, and many car drivers do not fully realize this. Because of the weight difference, it takes longer to stop a large truck than a car. Abrupt stops and lane changes can cause horrific accidents if a truck cannot stop in time.
Another bad habit car drivers engage in is traveling in a truck’s "blind spot." The blind spot is the area at either side of the truck where a driver cannot see the car. A good rule of thumb is this: if you can see the driver in the mirrors, he can probably see you. If you cannot see the driver, then it is possible you are in his "blind spot" and should adjust your speed up or down accordingly. Traveling in a truck’s blind spot could mean that the truck driver attempts to change lanes without realizing you are there.
Similarly, car drivers should be aware that turning in front of a truck without sufficient clearance or braking suddenly can have disastrous consequences. Car drivers should always allow more “room” when attempting to turn in front of or pass a large truck, and should never travel between large trucks on the interstates or other roads.
Some accidents are caused by truck drivers as well. Generally, these occur when a truck driver has not had sufficient training to handle the vehicle properly, or when a truck driver has driven for too long without rest. Lack of sleep is a common problem for truck drivers who are trying to make delivery deadlines, so car drivers should be very alert for behavior indicating a truck driver is not operating at full capacity, such as swerving or speeding up and slowing down erratically.
For the most part, required training for truck drivers makes these people very defensive drivers; however, mistakes made by the driver of a large truck are often much more dangerous than those of a car driver. Heavy loads and the size of these vehicles make them liable to jackknife or topple onto other vehicles during an accident. One small error on the part of a truck driver can result in death or serious injury to the truck driver and others.
If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, an expert California truck accident attorney should be consulted to determine the best way to pursue damages. Truck cases are somewhat different from accidents between cars, so the advice of a good personal injury attorney who is familiar with these types of cases is essential.
We are all used to seeing huge trucks and vans on the highways.
18-wheelers and panel trucks are a common sight on the interstates, and
even on secondary roads. Most people do not think about the dangers
these vehicles pose to passenger cars and to each other until a terrible
accident happens. However, with the size and weight of these types of
trucks, few accidents involving them are "minor."